USPS has authorized the mailing of COVID 19 test kits

From: Vance Zimmerman <>
Sent: Friday, May 8, 2020 4:36 PM
To: APWU National Officers
Subject: COVID 19 Test Kits


Please be aware that the postal service has authorized the mailing of COVID 19 test kits. Attached are stand up talks and other documents. The following is from the USPS:

These return kits have been authorized and met all the packaging requirements outlined in USPS Packaging Instructions 6C and has been approved by the Manager of Product Classification.

Required Authorization

All shippers of COVID-19 related UN3373 Category B Infectious Substances must obtain an authorization from the Postal Service prior to mailing. It is the responsibility of the shipper to ensure that they are aware of, and comply with, all other applicable requirements and regulations for the mailing of these materials; and they must be able to provide evidence of compliance before a written request is submitted to the manager of Product Classification, Postal Service Headquarters (see 214 for address).

Under these provisions, only tests developed and being performed by laboratories certified under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) or equivalent clinical oversight regulations, and commercial tests and home collection kits authorized by either the FDA or an Institutional Review Board will be considered.


♦ International Mail: Mailable only when:

    • Permitted by the destination country (see the Individual Country Listing in the IMM).
    • They are presented by and to authorized laboratories designated in “International Mail” below in this Packaging Instruction.
    • They meet the definition in 346.12a.
    • Written approval has been granted by the manager, Product Classification.
    • Quantity limits in 622.2 are met.
    • Sent via First-Class Package International Service with Registered Mail service.

♦ Domestic Mail: Mailable only when:

    • Intended for medical or veterinary use, research, or laboratory certification related to the public health.
    • Division 6.2 materials meet the preparation requirements for air transportation and sent via Priority Mail Express, Priority Mail, First-Class Mail, or First-Class Package Service.

In the chance that one of these package do break open:


As required by 49 CFR 173.199:

Each mailpiece (outer shipping container) must be marked on the address side with the proper shipping name “Biological Substance, Category B” and have the diamond marking indicating UN3373 (see Exhibit 346.12a2). The size of the mark on each side must not be less than 50 mm (1.97 inches) in length, the width of the border lines at least 2 mm, and letter and numbers must be at least 6 mm (0.24 inches) high.

The address side of the outer shipping container must be marked with name and telephone number of a person who is knowledgeable about the material shipped and has comprehensive emergency response and incident mitigation information, or someone who has immediate access to the person with such knowledge and information.

These may be distributed in the NE and Eastern Regions.


Vance Zimmerman
Industrial Relations Director
American Postal Workers Union, AFL-CIO
1300 L Street, NW
Washington, DC 20005-4128
Tel: 202.842.4273 | Fax: 202.371.0992

Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai COVID19 Research Kits

Mandatory Stand-Up Talk – COVID-19 test kits in the mail

Publication 52 – USPS Packaging Instruction 6C

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